20th Pursuit Group Part 2 plus the 7th Bomb Group
Rebuilding site.
Please check at a later day
A Boeing P-12 from the 77th Pursuit Squadron, takes on fuel before going on a flight. (circa 1932, SAMCC Photo)
   A young pilot from the 77th with his friend in the cockpit of a P-12.  It's not known if the little dog ever went along for a ride.  If he did, he would be able of enjoy the wind in his face, which dogs seem to like  (circa 1932, SAMCC Photo)
  This unidentified pilot from the 55th Pursuit Squadron is either going on a flight, or just  returned.  The aircraft in the background appears to be a Fokker of some sort.

     In October 1932, the 20th Pursuit Group packed up and left Mather Field.  The aircraft were flown to Barksdale, Louisiana.  Most of the personnel also went to Barksdale, but they traveled by ship on the U. S. Grant.  The Grant sailed through the Panama Canal and up to New Orleans.  When the ship stopped in Panama, The 20th lost the 80th Service Squadron to the 19th Composite Wing at France Field, Panama.

     Others went to the Philippines and some shipped to other bases in the states.  Major Tinker was transferred to March Field, California, where he would become the commander of another pursuit group.

     This would not be the last time Tinker would come to Mather Field.  In 1935 he would be a lieutenant colonel and the Commander of the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton Field, California, and return to a different Mather Field.  (circa 1932, SAMCC Photo)
  In September of 1933, it was apparent that Mather Field was on its way to becoming a home for jackrabbits and ground squirrels again.  The bids were opened for seventy-four buildings to be dimolished on the old airfield   The job went to Globe Wrecking Company of Chicago.  All buildings would be torn down  except for six hangars, which were built with steel frames.  These were dismantled and were apparently shipped to Hamilton Field and reassembled there.  Globe had been given six months to complete the job.  The base water tower was the last structure to come down.  When if fell in April 1934, everything was hauled away.  All that remained was the cement blocks that the buildings sat on and the cement floors of the hangars. (circa 1934, SAMCC Photo)
   On Monday, May 20, 1935, Lieutenant Colonel Clarence L. Tinker was back at Mather Field.  At this time he was Commander, 7th Bombardment Group, Hamilton Field, located north of San Francisco in Marin County, California.  Tinker brought with him twenty-four Martin B-12 twin engine bombers.  These aircraft were the latest in bombers. The B-12 flew at 207 miles per hour, and was faster than most of the pursuit aircraft of the day.

     Besides the bombers, the 7th brought along sixty-six trucks, motorcyceles, reconnaissance cars, and ambulances that arrived by road from Hamilton Field.

     The reason fo the trip to Mather was that the 7th was having a field exercise and Mather was an ideal place to train.  The 70th Service Squadron arrived about a week before the rest of the personnel would arrive to set up tents for living quarters and other needed shelter.

     The air crew members would be doing a lot of flying.  On one of the assignments, Tinker had the crews fly 500 miles along a radio beam and making only three stops along the way.  These radio beams were transmitted from stations along the route and picked up by the aircraft's radio.  When they completed the 500 miles out, they had to turn around and do the same thing back to Mather Field.  (circa 1935, SAMCC Photo)

   This is the tent city where the 7th Bombardment Group lived for the ten days they were on a field exercise at Mather in May of 1935.  (circa 1935, SAMCC Photo)
    Mather Field/Air Force Base had a long and successful history.  Just before the United States entered World War II, Mather Field began rebuilding.  The mission of the base has mostly been training.   First in 1918, the airfield trained pilots in 90 horsepower Curtiss "Jenny" aircraft.  At the end of the life of Mather Air Force Base, navigation students were training in powerful Boeing T-43 Jet navigation Trainers.

     In 1941, before the rebuilding was completed, the Army Air Corps was training pilots again.  Later, navigator training was added.  Navigators were training at Mather Air Force Base up to just before the base was closed in 1993, and turned into a civilian airport.

     Building this web page has been a pleasure for me.  I hope you have received as much pleasure viewing it.  Thanks for visiting.
    I would like to thank Richard Tsuda for helping me put this together.
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